Barclays to offer expertise to schools
Barclays is to offer its expertise and support to schools across England,and will target academies, Free Schools, University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and Studio Schools in particular.
Under the scheme, Barclays will:
- encourage hundreds of senior staff members with transferable business skills to sit on the governing bodies of state-funded schools – including academies and Free Schools;
- provide local access to free financial advice to help academies and Free Schools to manage their new financial duties;
- offer structured work experience opportunities at Barclays branches and offices to pupils from academies and Free Schools;
- widen the Barclays Money Skills programme, which helps young people build the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage money more effectively;
- provide free online access for school staff to ‘self-service’ functional and business skills training materials;
- provide free banking to new Free Schools and academies, helping them get off the ground; and
- work with the New Schools Network, Baker Dearing Trust and Studio Schools Trust with the aim of offering funding of £5,000, on average, to selected Free School, UTC and Studio School groups in the pre-application stage.
The academies programme has expanded rapidly in the last 18 months. In July 2010 the Academies Act made it possible for any good school to apply to become an academy. Since then more than 1500 have applied, with more than 1000 already open. Around 45 per cent of all secondary schools are now academies or are in the process of opening as academies.
24 Free Schools opened in September 2011. A further 71 Free Schools, including special schools and alternative provision schools, are due to open from September 2012 onwards. The offer also covers Studio Schools and UTCs, of which eight are already open and 29 are currently in the pipeline.
Schools that want to participate in some or all of these proposals should visit the Barclays academies and Free Schools website.
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